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The Awakening Paperback – Nov 4 1993

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Dover Publications; NEW edition (Nov. 4 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0486277860
  • ISBN-13: 978-0486277868
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 13.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 9 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (297 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #30,627 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From Library Journal

This gorgeous edition of Chopin's 1899 classic features period photos of the novel's New Orleans location and a durable plastic dust jacket.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Shelly Frasier's reading is thick with languor and sensuality as she creates an Edna who feels all but physically present."---AudioFile --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 14 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
We read this book for high school english class. Although it was written beautifully, and at times i could sympathize with Edna's character, i could not help but think she was a bad person by the end of the book. Although she did reach self-actualization, she did so without any responsibility shown towards the people close to her. She cheated on her husband, and then cheated on the man that she was having an affair with with someone else, hardly feeling any guilt for any of it. She also neglected her children, and treated them as if they were antagonists. Although I can understand her plight to become an independant woman and go beyond her society, the way that she attempted this made her a bad person, and she (arguably) failed at her task anyway. Her life, even though she said she was independent, ended when the man she was having an affair with left her. After that, she kills herself. Had she had the courage to separate from her husband (despite her society) and pursue Robert, or even if she didn't get him at the end, but still lived on just as much a woman then before rejection, THEN this book would be feminist. Otherwise its simply immorality disguised as feminism. If a man had done all the things she has in this novel, no one would be arguing whether the character was good or not.
besides the problem i had with the themes and plot, it was a very well written book, and i don't agree with it being censored. It was far ahead of it's time, and may be worth a read..Just don't expect too much out of it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 10 REVIEWER on Sept. 7 2008
Format: Paperback
The lot of women in the 19th century wasn't a terribly impressive one -- many of them had been reduced to babymakers and inoffensive "property" for the men.

And Kate Chopin caused a massive scandal when she wrote about one woman who drifted from societal normal in "The Awakening," leading to a world of exploration, love, and ultimately tragedy. Her misty, vaguely dreamlike writing can pull a reader into the world of 1900s New Orleans and its society, but her heroine sometimes feels more like a vessel than a fully-realized person.

Edna Pontellier is the wife of successful New Orleans businessman Léonce, and mother of two lovely young boys. Yet she is dissatisfied by her life, and feels no connection to the other wives and mothers, who idolize their motherhood and subservience. And when she encounters handsome young Creole Robert Lebrun while on vacation, she begins to "awake" to the feelings she has left behind during her marriage.

Distancing herself from Leonce and her sons, Edna begins exploring art and emotions that have been denied her by the strictures of her society -- as well as an affair with the flirtatious Alcée Arobin. She even moves out into a cottage of her own, much to the horror of those who thought they knew her. Her romantic feelings have not moved on from Robert, but his return makes her realize how different she has become...

Kate Chopin's most famous work is often cited as a sort of proto-feminist work, with a woman rebelling against the male-dominated role she has been given. The fact that a story about a woman abandoning her husband and kids caused such a scandal only adds to that belief.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ting on May 23 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Awakening, originally titled A Solitary Soul, is one of the most classic examples of the books of liberation. First published at the end of the 1890s, depicts the life of an American woman named Edna married and socialized among a circle of Creoles (immigrants of the French ancestry). Every summer, her family and the Creoles go on vacation to an island. This one particular summer, Edna falls in love with a young creole named Robert. This agonizing love affair between a married woman and a younger man propelled Edna to a series of self liberation. Kate Chopin throws in the idea of "the desire of the unabtainable", such as a nun would be a subject of desire, namely the more unreachable the more desirable. Edna, a married woman, is in this book, the unabtainable. Another issue about this book, which Chopin was very severly criticized (well.. it was the 1890s afterall, but the book was revived with acclaim in the 1950s during the woman's movement) was feminism. Edna says in the book the she will do anything for her children but she will not sacrifice herself...
However, the biggest controversy is the ending. Whether it is another awakening or something else (you should decide it for yourself), I think the book should have gone with its original title- A Solitary Soul.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Miss Sophia on Nov. 12 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Critics during the 1899 gave Kate Chopin's "The Awakening" bad reviews. They were shock at the novel because of the issues that Chopin wrote about. Chopin was devasted; she died never writing again. "The Awakening" was revived by feminist critics that knew the work was facinating, also beautifully written and compose. Now, high schools and college across America read "The Awakening".
The Awakening is about a woman named Edna Pontellier. Edna is unhappy in her life as a mother and wife. She starts to "awaken" from her conventional role of mother and wife to a woman that desires independence to become an individual. Edna does not love her husband nor she wants to be a mother to her two sons.
Edna falls in love with Robert Leburn; Robert goes away to Mexico because he wants to stay away from Edna. He knows that they both have feelings for each other, and he leaves because Edna's reputation will be destroyed if they have a love affair. After Robert leaves, she purchases a quaint little house on the corner; she decides that she needs space away from her wifely and motherly duties. While Robert is gone, Edna has an affair with womanizer, Alcee Abouron.
Robert comes back from Mexico; Edna is glad to see him and wants to rekindle the love that they discovered before he left. Edna is called by her friend, Adele, because she is having her baby.
Edna discovers that she cannot awaken fully from society conventions and restraints that are placed on her. She realizes if there was a way that Robert and her could be together, eventually, he would stop loving her. She realizes during her time society will not let her be the woman that she wants and needs to be.
"The Awakening" is about a woman that experiences and realizes that her life is complexed. As Edna struggles to find her identity, she has a wall against her, and it is called conventions.
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